Method and Tactics in Cognitive Science

By Walter Kintsch; James R. Miller et al. | Go to book overview

3
Methodology for Building an
Intelligent Tutoring System

William J. Clancey
Stanford University


Introduction

Over the past 5 years my colleagues and I have been developing a computer program to teach medical diagnosis. Our research synthesizes and extends results in artificial intelligence (AI), medicine, and cognitive psychology. This chapter describes the progression of the research, and explains how theories from these fields are combined in a computational model. The general problem has been to develop an "intelligent tutoring system" by adapting the MYCIN "expert system."1 This conversion requires a deeper understanding of the nature of expertise and explanation than originally required for developing MYCIN, and a concomitant shift in perspective from simple performance goals to attaining psychological validity in the program's reasoning process.

Others have written extensively about the relation of AI to cognitive science (e.g., Boden, 1977; Lehnert, this volume; Pylyshyn, 1978). Our purpose here is not to repeat those arguments, but to present a case study that will provide a common point for further discusstion. To this end, to help evaluate the state of cognitive science, we outline our methodology and survey what resources and viewpoints have helped our research. We also discuss pitfalls that other AI- oriented cognitive scientists may encounter. Finally, we present some questions coming out of our work that might suggest possible collaboration with other fields of research.

____________________
1
A glossary appears at the end of the chapter.

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